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At the poetry readingin Croft House, she wrote downher phone-number on a piece of paper,said, give me a call some time.

But I never did,instead, walked one daythe few blocks to 240 Robert Street,then, much too unsure to knock,went back by the way I'd come.

They're saying near the endshe went searching neighbourhood alleysfor stray cats, and of coursedrank far too much,but I don't want to know about it.

Enough that I walked by her house,afraid our lives over so many yearshad drifted too far apartfor even casual conversation,

afraid where she was bold,cautious where she took chances,not wanting even now to believeshe could easily have died all alone.

© Souster Raymond